Prospective Student FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mount Holyoke College "need-aware" or "need-sensitive"?
Yes. Need-aware, also known as need-sensitive, is a policy in which a student's financial resources are considered along with her other admission criteria. Mount Holyoke College employs this policy for students who fall at the margin of the admitted applicant pool. Because the level of financial "need" may be considered as one of many admission factors, students must indicate their intention to apply for financial aid at the time they submit their admission application.

Do I need to apply for financial aid to be considered for merit scholarships?
No. Applicants to the College are considered for merit assistance with their admission application.

Will my family contribution change from year to year?

Each year students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens of the U.S. are required to reapply for financial aid. The family contribution will be similar from year to year unless significant changes occur in family income/assets, or the number of household dependents or the number of dependent children attending undergraduate institutions changes. 

International students apply for financial aid once, at the time they apply for admission.

Note: The student loan amount in the typical financial aid package will increase by approximately $1,000 each year and is not considered part of the family contribution.

Will I get less financial aid if I apply Early Decision?
No. The amount of financial aid is the same for students who apply Early or Regular Decision. 

Is my financial aid package negotiable?
We do not negotiate financial aid packages. However, if there is a change in your family's financial circumstances that was not considered during our original review you may submit a Request for Reconsideration. Please keep in mind that if you have questions about your financial aid eligibility or information that we have considered in our review, please contact us.

My parents are divorced/separated. Do they both need to submit information?
Yes, we require both the custodial and noncustodial parents, and stepparents if the custodial parent is remarried, to submit financial data and tax returns yearly.  We will review a request to waive the noncustodial parent's information however we will waive the noncustodial parent information only under very limited circumstances. Please see our policies on divorced, separated or never married parents for more information.

What is Mount Holyoke College's policy on domestic partners?
Dependent students' biological and adoptive parents' domestic partners and independent students' domestic partners also submit financial information to Student Financial Services for the purposes of determining eligibility for institutional need-based aid.

Can I be considered an independent student?
It is a rare exception that a traditionally aged student is granted independent status. This is because we consider a student and her family as primarily responsible for her education. It is important to know that if a student initially receives financial aid as a dependent student she will be considered a dependent student regardless of changes in family relationships. This includes a student who chooses to become independent of parents or to marry while in college or who has left the College then returned after a number of years. Please contact us if you believe you have unique circumstances that should be considered.